Life Goals


 

I recently read an article by this woman who said she would rather have liver failure from all of the medication than to deal with life off medication. I can see the pain in her writing and ultimately making that choice. My time will come, at one point or another for me to decide as well.

Do I keep going or do I start experimenting with alternative, holistic methods? I am aware and have researched enough possibilities to say it’s worth a try. However, this would potentially put my family and myself on a different kind of roller coaster. Trying different things and to go off the beaten path is scary. Just the thought of the lengthy process it would be to wean me off of all my meds. makes me want to back down from the idea entirely. I have been on a pretty steady amount of medication for about 10 years. I don’t even know who this Rachel person is off meds. Who am I really and truly when I am off medication? I don’t even remember. I do know I would want to give this whole crazy idea of being off medication over dying way to early from a failing liver. Now the question is ……when? I know there will never be a good time to do this. I know things will be hell as I transition to a new life off drugs, but what if I fail? I will literally be starting a new medication routine all over again. Yet again, Is it worth the chance? I see no other option. Also this TMS thing I mentioned in a previous post is still on the playing table. We are just waiting on the super slow insurance company. I will let you know, if approved, how that all pans out. Now, don’t hold your breath to see how things will work out for me. I am not looking at doing this anytime soon. Except the TMS. If that bad boy gets approved I’m all in! As for ditching the drugs, I would rather not be the guinea pig! Surly someone has done this! I must find them. Inquiring minds want to know! So right now I will continue to be a good girl and take medication as prescribed and I will still make it to all those doctor appointments every month.

 If I ever get anything out of this whole bipolar/schizo/lupus/fibromyalgia thing it would be that I think at this point I can say that I can relate to a lot of people. I understand and I know the pain they physically and mentally feel. I’m in this place in my life right now where I want to allow God to reach through me to touch so many people like me. To tell them their lives are worth something and they are loved.

Of course there is perfect timing for everything and as much as I want to get out there and implement all of these things, I am still dealing with my own can of worms. Even if I can’t go all out, He has made it clear to me, a little bit here and a little bit there. I am still struggling with the constant thought of me just being stuck in this body where Rachel resides somewhere. I say yes to Him and to have His way in my life. My life as it is right now. Lord, I want you to teach me how to set aside how I feel and how I think to bring glory to your kingdom to the best of my capabilities. To love on the broken when the opportunity arises. I want Him to use me as a vessel at anytime He sees fit. To minister to the weary and heavy laden. I do believe one day I will be able to do more of things that God has planned for me in His timing. My hope is to share His powerful, redeeming love to anybody who needs it and will listen. Especially those with mental disorders and/or chronic pain. I can and will thank the Lord every morning for another day to be alive. I will continue to ask Him to give my doctors wisdom and understanding to my specific needs and for the Holy Spirit to speak to me when it’s time to cut the drug cord. I will put my trust in Him. I will keep my head held high. He has whispered to me in His reassuring voice to not be so hard on myself for feeling guilty for not doing enough. I am right where He wants me to be. He has spoken to my heart and ministered to my soul that sometimes simply being alive is enough s and sometimes that’s all He asks of us. 

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.                        1 John 4:11 NIV 

 

Jesus appointed me

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Being Reborn


As I have dealing with my birthday that was a couple of weeks ago, there have been  a lot of feelings that I couldn’t pin down. As I began to analyze and dissect my thought and feelings, I started to see just how much the bipolar, schizophrenia, panic, anxiety, lupus and fibromyalgia were keeping me a prisoner. I was allowing fear to literally cripple me. I didn’t know who I was anymore. The enemy of my faith was literally killing me.

I was a stay at home mom from the beginning 14 years ago. I had plans of returning to work or doing volunteer work once my 3 children were all in school full time. Right after my youngest child was born 10 years ago I was diagnosed with the mental disorders. My plans started to crumble. My dreams crumbled. I tried to take care of a baby and 2 other children, all 2 years apart, and at the same time trying to manage a mind that was not my own. The physical diseases came in to play about 3 years ago. Fast forward to the now. I am still at home ALL. DAY. LONG. By myself for a good 7 hours, 5 or more days a week. I rarely leave the house and being that we moved out of state to Arizona last May, I don’t know anybody. I feel isolated and alone. When I do venture out it is mostly for doctor appointments. I get my hair cut every 6 weeks and grocery shop with my husband on Friday nights. I can’t sit  through movies in a theater or at home without having to get up and leave because the anxiety and nervousness get to me. I have seen maybe 1 or 2 movies that I can think of over the last 5 or 6 years. I can’t even begin to watch anything unless it’s comedies or romance because everything else can trigger me. I have to even be careful for the music that I listen to because of triggers. Forget any other activities. It’s either my mind or my body and sometimes both that make things impossible. I have missed out on more events at school for my children than I can count. The heavy, burdensome guilt of not being the mom I think I should be or the wife I should be eats me apart daily. When I try my hardest it’s never good enough to outweigh the guilt. My dog has become one of my best friends. We talk a lot. This is my life.

About a week ago I decided enough was enough. I spent countless hours just being with Jesus and something in me felt alive again. I wasn’t going to change but I was going to pull from the depths of soul who I really am. Last Wednesday I marched right on down to the tattoo shop and got something beautiful on me that I had been wanting to get for years but was too scared to do. It was a liberating and powerful moment for me. Last night at the very last minute, I booked a flight to head to Utah to be with my parents. I had about 30 minutes to pack and flew, with my dog, for the very first time. Something I never thought I could do. Guess what? I did it. All by myself. This last minute trip was an emergency decision based on my overall health, mind and body. This was the first time I have been away on a trip, for me, from my husband and children in about 6 years. Maybe more. I am giving myself some much needed R&R and of course it didn’t help that there has been some tension between my husband and I and I just needed a mommy/wife break.  I need to collect myself, recharge, and cry in my mamas arms. A change of scenery was needed and I had to get a break from the depressing life that has held me captive for so many years. I don’t know how long I will be away for yet. I know this person, Rachel, that has been crying out for so long to be out of it’s cage was starting to flap her wings. That latch that had been holding the door on that cage closed for so many years had unlocked. Finally feeling some freedom and breaking out of that comfort zone feels amazing. I am little unsure on how to let this wild child, that I knew was in there, out without ruffling to many of the feathers on the few people that are in my life. I think I’m just going to ease into it and let God take control of this creature, that is me. He created me perfect in His eyes and knew who I was going to be before I was conceived. I am leaving it up to Him to remove the guilt and to teach me how to forgive myself. I talk to my kids all the time about how God dosen’t want us comfortable or in a box. He wants us to live freely in Him and do what He created us to do. It is time for me to listen to my own advice. Change is good and sometimes needed. Jesus knew all this was going to go down. He just asks me to trust Him and that’s what I’m going to do.

Welcome to a new world Rachel. A new big and exciting world. An even better example for my babies and learning how to love that husband of mine, who has stuck with me for 16 years this Friday,  unlike any other time yet.

So take care of yourself. It’s okay. You were placed here to love and cannot do that if you don’t first recognize and love this creation, that is you, as God has intended.

Psalm 139:13, Isaiah 43:1, Galations 5:1 and 2 Corinthians 3:17

 

Who’s The Culprit?


It’s been 2 weeks since I saw my doctor. I am trying to make it to the 1 month mark which is my next scheduled appointment. I am trying to beak a trend of seeing him every 2 weeks instead of waiting for my 1 month scheduled appointment. Things have not been so great. I have been going in early because things haven’t been right and I want it fixed like right now. The last time I saw my doctor I had a long list of concerns. By this time I’m sure he knew my favorite color and favorite food. As I whipped out my list and asked him if I could read them off he said sure. I was at my 3rd concern as he removed his glasses and started to clean them. The more he focused on getting that one spot clean on his glasses, it became apparent that he wasn’t focusing on me. As I continued to explain what was going on he placed his glasses back on and abruptly interrupted me. He then started to “educate” me on bipolar disorder. Explaining that bipolar disorder,schizophrenia, insomnia, and panic was all caused by anxiety. I could not get a word in and slipped my list back into my purse. He wrapped things up with saying that I’m not giving the new changes time to work. Although I agree that I need to be more patient with the new drug cocktail, I am not sold on the idea that ALL of the diseases are caused by anxiety. He did give me a sample of TMS which is performed in his office. TMS, or, transcranial magnetic stimulation, is supposed to be a game changer for those with depression and recently added, anxiety (look it up). He also claimed that he thinks he had found the “sweet spot” for sleep as well. TMS is basically a series of magnetic pulses, when placed on the correct location of the head, are supposed to stimulate and encourage healing of that location in the brain. Patients claim it has rid them of depression. Always up for new things, I agreed to try it. It was strange and uncomfortable at times but lasted only about 10 minutes. I can honestly say that I did feel pretty good after the treatment. I felt relaxed and wanted to get home so I could enjoy the feeling in my favorite lounge chair. That night I did sleep well and don’t remember waking up at all. By the end of the second day I was feeling like my old self again, miserable. The doctor said that TMS is a 6 week, 5 days a week treatment. According to the doctor, when treatment is completed, most patients need only minimal medications and the benefits can be life lasting with only  annual maintenance. Although excited that there might be an antidote for this disease I couldn’t help feeling like it seemed too good to be true. Over the last 2 weeks I have done a lot of self evaluation coupled with all the research I have done over the last almost 10 years. I already have a pretty good list for my next appointment. How is it that this disease, which has been identified as a chemical imbalance in the brain, be easily written off by anxiety instead? Have you ever seen a side by side picture of the brain showing a bipolar vs. healthy brain? I have and the distinction is clear. As my mom and I have looked back into my childhood the bipolar symptoms were clearly there. With no childhood trauma what was I to be anxious about? These symptoms carried on through my teenage years, my twenties, and now into my thirties. It was in my twenties that I had my “breakdown”. The symptoms were definitely worse before medication was involved. Even after that it has been a long and rocky road until recently. I am not bashing my doctor. I do feel he is educated and has my best interest at heart. He has done well by me and over the course of this last year has gotten me closer to what I feel is the best medication cocktail yet. In fact I thought we had it at one point. That was a good and short lived moment. Although just when I think we are minimizing the amount of meds. administered others are introduced. Like many people with this disease you know that your body gets immune to certain meds. and start to not work. Lucky to get a few months out of it before changes have to happen. I am often left frustrated and helpless with this cycle. Let’s not forget my poor body that has been through highs, lows, withdrawals and glimpses of wellbeing. After my own personal experiences and all the self education on this disease I really don’t think anxiety is the culprit. Now does my anxiety make a lot of matters worse? Sure, but I don’t think it’s the cause of the bipolar and other ailments. If my insurance covers this TMS treatment I will give it a try. What have I got to lose, right? My fear is that I will feel good and meds. will begin to be removed. Only to have to start all over again because the anxiety was treated and not the chemical imbalance. I really don’t want to be at square one again. As much as I respect my doctor he is not bipolar, schizophrenic, or deals with high functioning panic disorders himself. I know my body and can honestly separate the anxiety from everything else. Sure sometimes anxiety cohabitants with bipolar or any of the other disorders but they are separate monsters.

So I will wait to see my doctor 2 weeks from now and when I do see him I have some serious questions for him. After all I am ultimately in charge of my body and have to be my own advocate. I encourage all of you to trust your gut and question EVERYTHING. Seek out truth and do not put your life in someone’s hands simply because they wear a white coat. There are always choices and when able, make a patient, educated decision.

My prayer is that the Lord gives the doctor discernment and wisdom and that He helps me to seek truth to receive His promises to me.

 

Proverbs 17:24   Psalm 30:2

 

Wrinkles, White Hair, and Ice Cream


As recommended by my mother, here are a few things I am currently dealing with in this terrible time in my life.

So my birthday is tomorrow and I am in quite a bit of denial about it. Over the last few weeks I have been reminded by my dear children that it was coming up. As I dismissed them and their not so welcome upcoming news, I was left with mixed feelings. I only dwelled on the thought for a minute or so before forcing it out of my mind. I knew it was coming up and didn’t want to hear how soon, how old I am going to be, or what kind of cake I want. Every day I have purposely forgot it.

Now I will tell you just how terrible it has been. It all started a couple of weeks ago umm actually maybe a month or so ago, who’s keeping track anyways. One day as I had just gotten out of the shower, I was putting product in my hair and tousling it around so it could dry properly. When I removed my hands from my hair and went to wash them I looked down to find a very long WHITE hair! I was mortified! I mean I had seen them before on small strands in the front and had just placed hair over it to cover it. This was different though. The hair in my hand was a super long, course and white from top to bottom. What the hell is happening to me! I held the strand between two fingers as if I found damning evidence at a brutal crime scene. I ran to find my husband to show him this awful discovery. Being 4 years older than me, he laughed and said “welcome to your future” as he stroked his salt and pepper beard. What the F$*#! Is this supposed to be consoling because it’s not. But this can’t happen to me! I’m not old and don’t want to be! My kids have already told me I look like a “mom”. Whatever that’s supposed to mean. I mean maybe a cool mom. This unsightly hair event turned into a couple days of trying to rekindle my younger years. I started playing music on a Pandora station I created from the early 90’s, which would have put me in the tween age bracket. I asked the kids what they would think if I bejeweled my bra. My 14 year old said it would be weird. She clearly dosen’t know what being cool actually is. After a couple days of crying and singing at the same time while my favorite “oldies” played, I knew I had to move on. Moved on is what I did, accepting my birthday was approaching I did not. I began to feel confused about myself and who I am. I realized that it had been 10 years since my bipolar diagnosis. I reflected on this time and was not happy on how it was spent. Mostly in bed, being shuttled from Doctor to Doctor, trying to find the right combo of meds, feeling like an experimental guinea pig, and 3 psych ward visits. I felt like I had not lived life as it was intended. When others girls were having the time of their lives in their mid to late 20’s, I was so freakin sick that I don’t even remember those years. UGH how terrible is that?! And so the midlife crisis began. Who am I? What am I supposed to be doing? How did I get here? And of course guilt. I have wasted 10 years of my life. I wasn’t a good mother. I wasn’t a good wife. Why wasn’t I stronger? Hey, didn’t I want to be a singer at one time? Well, too late for that. Karaoke bars here I come!

My body looks bad, my boobs sag, I can see lines on my face that, in my opinion, shouldn’t be there, and I generally think I look like I’ve been hit by a semi truck. You can tell by looking at me that things have been rough. This is not at all what I pictured myself to look like at this age. Um, Halle Berry is in what her late 40’s or 50’s now and looks AMAZING! I look like droopy, rotten berry. I was so HOT at one time. Even after the last kid was born, I bounced right back and looked so good. But years of sickness, yes I know, beyond my control and meds which all say on the bottle “may cause weight gain”, I am as big as a house and my vagina looks like a giant front door.

The other day as I was still dealing with the crisis at hand, my daughter sat in the front seat of the car with me and calculated on her phone just how many days and hours old I was. What the fuck?! Yes I realize that I had previously blanked out the “F” word but I am now minutes older than I was earlier and so I can say whatever I want. You know old people can get away with anything. Being that old people can get away with anything I also pierced my nose. That’s right, I pierced my nose. Hey everybody! Look at my nose, I’m young and hip! Last night as I was brushing my hair, I found what appeared to be a small piece of white fuzz. As I went to pull it out, it appeared to spread! I freaked out and yelled for my husband. Was this dandruff? I have never had dandruff in my life and now days before my birthday I get it? I made him scratch at my scalp all over. He said most confidently “Rachel, there is no dandruff.” Okay then it must be lice, check again, I know it’s lice! “Rachel, there is no lice” he said. He went on to tell me it WAS probably just fuzz and it just broke into smaller pieces as I touched it. I walked away feeling unconvinced.

A couple of other things. Will somebody please, for the sake of all that’s good, card me at the store?! I also have had a few days recently where I went to bed super late and still woke up way to early. This is an old people thing right? My kids made it a point to tell me that their GREATgrandparents do this.

And so today, the day before my birthday, I wonder what will possibly go wrong and make me feel older than I am.

One last thing. I have been uncooperative with making plans for my birthday. My husband has asked me several times what kind of cake I want and was always left with an “I don’t want to talk about it” from me. Yesterday, when he asked again, I told him. Because right now stuffing myself with cake and drowning myself in ice cream sounds pretty damn good.

God, I’m thankful that I am here today and have survived another year, but could you please slow it down a bit.

Seeing, Hearing, Spending and Sleeping


I want to write about the ugly things, some truthful things, things that people with bipolar disorder/schizophrenia don’t want to talk about and things ordinary people are uncomfortable hearing.

This disease is a monster, gobbling you up, chewing you up, then spitting you out to go about life for the rest of the day. When it hits sometimes there is no warning. Other times there are plenty of signs before an “episode” happens. Either way, when it’s all over hours or days later, you are left to pick up the pieces that is your life. Items are returned, a lot of apologies are made, sleep is needed, guilt sets in and reality is back.

I have often found myself looking in the mirror in the aftermath and thinking “what just happened”. Often embarrassed, I try to explain to my loved ones the best way I can and what I remember. The problem is it’s often hard to put into words what you just went through. How DO you explain what you were thinking, feeling, hearing, seeing? Sometimes you can’t and just need a hug and to be told it’s all okay.

The word “crazy” is not allowed in my home. When people say “she’s crazy”, “he’s crazy”, “ugh, it’s been a crazy day”, they have NO idea of the gravity of those words. When I say “I feel like I’m going crazy” or more often said “I feel like I’m losing my shit”, I mean it and that means all hands on deck. Give me a pill to help me calm down, take me somewhere cool and dark, and give me my worship music to listen to.    The kids know to leave me alone and my awesomely supportive husband is at my side holding me while simultaneously holding down the fort. Yes, I have been blessed with an incredible support team and yes, I am aware most people don’t. I honestly don’t think I would be alive if these people would have given up on me. Obviously God wants me alive for a reason and so, I will live.

I have been brutally honest with my kids about what I deal with. They have seen and heard the very raw, uncensored me. They know Jesus is my foundation and I am plagued at the same time. They understand to the best of their abilities that this is life. Shit happens. There are times that I try to hide particular things though. Simply because I think it would frighten them.

After a good few months the easy life was over. If you recall, the doctors had found a wonderful cocktail of drugs and I was feeling better than I have in my entire life. I knew it wouldn’t last forever. All good things must come to an end right? And so as I started to drift away and the old demons were slowly making a comeback, I found myself often in tears. I didn’t want to go back. I loved my new, short lived life and didn’t want it to end. After several weeks of misery, I saw my doctor. Prepared with a long list of symptoms, changes were made and I left with a new game plan. Getting off of this and adding that.  I was supposed to see him again in a month and after 3 weeks, I caved and was back in his office. Things were not getting better. I wasn’t sleeping which was sending me into mania lasting days on end or severe depression also lasting days. Paranoia was slipping back in and I started seeing things again. All of my fears, insects, snakes, monsters, all only I could see but oh so real to me. I was showering one night and as I turned facing my steam covered glass shower door, I saw a very real scorpion crawling on it. I tried to stay calm, as there was a very good chance I was the only one that could see it, and exited the shower. I told my husband and he did his “monster check” and of course, found no scorpion. I used to feel stupid asking for help but realized the only way I could truly be helped was to be honest in my symptoms. After this last visit with my doctor which was last Thursday, I left again with hopefully a better plan of attack. Things have been okay and I know these kind of changes take time. There is no insta-cure. I have overall been sleeping better, but am still dealing with issues. My anger level is through the roof and so I try to just stay away from everybody. When I have to be, I stuff it all in and scream when I am alone once again. Guilt and worthlessness are trying to befriend me. And seeking God is ever so challenging. I know what His word says. I know I am worth a lot to Him and He took my guilt to the cross. I know I’m really not crazy and believe very few people actually are. We all have are plagues in one form or another, just some of us require medication……….a lot of medication. I guess sometimes it’s easier to be in misery then to hear truth. Even truth, when heard, can be a tough pill to swallow, no pun  intended. It’s hard to grasp these things and still have hope. No one can grasp it. It isn’t humanly possible. Even still when I do come to Him I can try to understand to the best of my capabilities what He is trying to tell me.

Today started out realitvly good given my night. I didn’t sleep well and had the kids home from school today. The teachers are on strike. So they will be here tomorrow also. My two older ones headed to church this morning for a “fun day”. I had my youngest, my son, who is 10 stay home with me. He is my watchdog and often sees my symptoms before anyone else does. I lucked out today that he stayed home with me. I have a plant, a hyacinth, in a pot in my kitchen. It was doing very well and bloomed beautiful fragrant flowers. After a couple of weeks it started to die off. I looked up what to do and had it written down on my to-do list every day. I never got around to it and every day it looked sadder and sadder. This afternoon I went to the kitchen to make lunch. As I went to the sink next to the plant, I looked at it and something inside of switched on. It looked like death, withering and hanging lifeless. I quickly turned from it. I felt like I was going to vomit. I tried to pull myself together and resumed making my lunch. At the center island in my kitchen mere feet away from it, I started to hear it. It was crying and calling out for help! Recognizing that it wasn’t probably really speaking to me, I still left, trying to distance myself from it. In my mind I could still hear it, begging to be saved from a slow death. That image, those sounds, I couldn’t get away from it. I went outside and tried to calm down, but I coudn’t and knew what was coming. I tried to call my husband for help before I completely flipped out and of course he didn’t answer his phone. My mama was my next call. Traveling home from Colorado, she jumped into action the best way she could from hundreds of miles away. She got my son on the phone and together they made a plan to rescue me from my own tormenting thoughts. My son removed the plant from my kitchen, placed it out of site, and gave me the medication to help me calm down. My son, so young and yet so in tune with his mother. So tender hearted and compassionate. He rubbed my back and calmly assured me that it will all be okay. Everybody’s home now and I’m feeling better. Not 100%, but better.

I know people don’t like to talk about things like this and for others it is just down right uncomfortable to hear. Maybe others don’t know what to do, how to react. I mean it’s got to be pretty hard for the average Joe to understand how a person can hear a plant screaming for help and see things that aren’t really there. Go on spending sprees and then have to go down the walk of shame the next day. To feel so depressed that things like brushing your teeth or showering are hard to think about, let alone do. I often wonder what other people do think of me, not that I care, I’m so over that, just curious. Should I keep my distance and not allow my children over to her house? I’m pretty sure that’s ran through some of the kids parents heads as it has been a steady decline of other children coming to visit. I also know my children feel worried that if they have someone over mom might have an episode. Living with this disease is hard, not for the faint of heart, and warriors only succeed. But we are not “bad” people. If anything I know personally, we try to be extra conscious of what we say and do around other people. Heaven forbid our secret gets leaked.

God’s grace and mercy is why I’m still here. Period.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


Yesterday morning when I woke up I was filled with an excitement throughout my body. Think Disneyland excited. An excitement that caused butterflys in my stomach. I sat outside with my coffee and knew that this excitement that I was feeling was because it was Good Friday. As like many Christians, Good Friday marks the start of a very exciting and emotional weekend. Good Friday marks the day my Jesus was crucified. Without Good Friday there would be No Resurrection Sunday (Easter). Yesterday morning I opened my Facebook page and saw that World Bipolar Day had fallen on Good Friday this year. Something struck me as I read this. Something stirred in me and almost made me uncomfortable. I didn’t quite know what to do with these feelings and had no idea why I felt the way I did. As my day went on I was trying to connect with God at every moment I could. It was the early afternoon and during one of these moments that the Lord spoke to my heart and unraveled my thoughts and feelings.

There was some significance with Good Friday and world bipolar day falling on the same day for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about bipolar awareness and busting the stigma, but as I was seeing bipolar posts flooding my Facebook page there was a personal decision that I needed to make. Yesterday I choose to not blog, post, or share anything bipolar related. I choose Jesus. I could have very easily recognized both Good Friday and world bipolar day, but my heart told me “no”. When Christ died on Good Friday, when He endured all the things He did that day, He did it for me…..for you. With every lashing, every blow, every thorn that dug into His precious head, He took on a sin, a sickness, a disease. All of my grief, sorrow, sadness, depression, mania, ocd, anger, pain was in every strike He took. All of the games my mind plays on me, my low self esteem, my regrets that eat at me, ALL of it He took upon Himself. When He died, it was not just my sins that died too, but ALL of my suffering both mental and physical. Without the selfless act of dying for me I would have no hope, no future, no healing. Because I live in a fallen world I will still battle (Ephisians 6:12) until I see my King in Glory. But that is just it, it’s a battle not a way of life. When you think of wars or battles, you think of someone winning, right? This is why I battle bipolar, lupus, fibromyalgia, because at the end of the day I win. With Christ in me, I win every time. And so for me setting aside a day to “recognize” bipolar was like giving it credit it absolutely does NOT deserve. bipolar you are so big and bad that you get your own day! No fricken way! And then for it to fall on the same day as Good Friday! My decision was clear. By not recognizing world bipolar day yesterday, I was saying this disease, I choose not to carry. He already carried it for me today, Good Friday. bipolar is not an extension of me, like my  hands and feet, those are taken. My feet run the race that is set before me (Hebrews 12:1) and my hands were made for this battle (2 Samuel 22:35 NIV). bipolar is not my identity. It is more like a very temporary mask that I wear, an ugly mask, a mask I did not ask for. But one that is worn and then torn down, ripped to shreds, stomped and spit on when I win the battle for the day. This very disease that wanted to steal the limelight for yesterday was not even given a second look. The bipolar that TRIES to still my life at times DIED on Good Friday. This evil, sickening spirit that is bipolar just needs a constant reminder that it has, in fact been defeated some 2,000 years ago. I choose Jesus. He was going to get all of the attention, the limelight, and the glory yesterday for what He did for me. And on Sunday when I celebrate with my family His resurrection I will rejoice in the fact that one day soon I will be with Him pain free forever.

John 11:25 NIV , 1 Peter 1:3 NIV, Romans 10:9 NIV

 

 

 

 

My Heart Is Full


As I sit outside in the backyard of my grandparents house in California, I am overcome with a sense of peace, love, and thankfulness to my God. My grandparents are both in their eighties. I have spent my entire life with a deep affection for them that has only has only grown as I have gotten older. The last time I saw them was in May of 2017. This was the day before we started out on our new adventure in Arizona. My heart has ached to be with them as they have been sick a lot over the past year. My worst nightmare was receiving a call that they had passed and knowing the last time I spent with them was almost a year ago. I am grateful for the two years we spent back home here in California between our life in Utah to the new life in Arizona. My children were older and were able to spend more quality time them that I knew they would remember. Even with the bipolar and the fairly new diagnosis of fibromyalgia and lupus, I spent as much time with them that my body would allow. My children were able to soak in the stories and create some wonderful memories like learning to make homemade tortillas with my Nana. Although the two years back home were short I was grateful for the extra time spent with them, I have missed them dearly. About a month ago I spoke to my Papa on the phone. Something I tried to do several times a week. When I hung up the phone something changed in me. Talking on the phone was not enough. The desire to be with had reached a head. My husband came home that day to find me very emotional, breaking out in tears throughout the evening. As I expressed to my husband how much I missed them, his wheels began to turn. As I spoke to him that night about how much I missed hearing them laugh, hugging and kissing them, and the smell of their home, he told me that he would take us back home to see them. I was overcome with joy. And so the plans were in action. My mama, who is one of my best friends, was planning on going back to California from Utah. Shortly after we had picked the dates for our trip, my mama planned her visit around ours. What a blessing! Just the thought of being around some of the people that mean the world to me was enough to make me lose sleep out of excitement for almost a month as I anticipated the time that was to be spent around my grandparents, mama, and my Tio whom lives with them. In this last month I have had days that just dragged on and some days that flew by. I could hardly wait! Monday night my husband, children,  and I arrived in California. Since their home is not big enough for my family to stay overnight, my husband and children are staying with my husbands aunt whom was gracious enough to open her home. Wanting to spend every waking moment with my nana, papa, and mama my Tio gave up his bedroom for an air mattress in the living room so that I could be here with them as much as possible. My mama arrived last night and is sharing a bed with me ( love me some mama cuddles). My world has come full circle and once again feels complete. We have laughed and cried tears of joy over the last two days and I look forward to every day that the next 2 weeks holds. Although I realize the next 2 weeks will fly by, I will soak in every hug, kiss and meals shared around the table with my family. I refuse to allow any of my illnesses to rob me of time spent here.  Creating new lifetime memories will be had.

Philippians 1:3  NLT